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Johannesburg - Marikana miners are outraged at the manner in which they are being treated by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Seventeen miners appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court in Tshwane on Tuesday in connection with the deaths of 10 people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, in the week preceding the 2012 massacre.

Upon their arrival in court, the 17 accused were each served with the indictment charging them with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, damage to property as well as illegal gathering.

Andries Nkome, a lawyer for the miners, said the court proceedings were premature.

“The recommendation of the Farlam Commission was that an investigation must be set up by the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) on who must be charged. The miners’ reaction is that the State is in contempt of them,” he said.

Nkome said the miners felt Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu and former police minister Nathi Mthethwa should be arrested for their roles in the massacre. They felt the politicians were receiving special treatment because of their statuses.

Police shot dead 34 miners and injured over 70 on August 16, 2012 during an unprotected strike at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana outside Rustenburg.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman advocate Luvuyo Mfaku emphasised that the 17 men had not been arrested, but simply served with a summons to appear in the court.

He said the case was transferred to December 2 in the North West High Court, to be chaired by North West Judge President Monica Leeuw.

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The Star

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